Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Pharmacists and the Morning-After Pill

If you follow the link, you'll learn from William Saletan that the battle over "emergency contraception" is not all that it's cracked up to be. There seems to be an agenda of making the problem seem very widespread, when in reality it isn't. Saletan tries to make the case that pro-lifers are generally avoiding this dispute for good reasons.

The situation is complicated. I sympathize with many of these pharmacists. If you believe that the morning-after pill causes a developing, unborn child to die, then of course distributing it is going to give you moral objections. Rightly so. Should they be forced to hand it out, then? I really don't think so. Morally objectionable acts shouldn't be a required aspect of the job, particularly when one believes it to be a matter of life and death.

However, I don't agree with many of the purported tactics of these pharmacists, such as witholding their prescription after refusing to fill it. How widespread is such a thing? Hard to say, as nobody gives numbers for it, and as Saletan writes in his article, there really aren't numbers for such a thing. Right now, we're running on anecdotal evidence.

Can we be honest for a minute on this one? If the pharmacist you go to tells you that he won't fill that prescription, is it really so hard to find another pharmacy? From how the media talks about this, they make it sound like it's nigh impossible to find pharmacies that will fill this prescription because of all of those crazy pro-lifers out there, but I can't imagine it to be that hard to find one pharmacy to fill it. I don't exactly come from large towns, but if I needed to find a pharmacy, I could probably think of about 10 locations, all in about a 15 minute driving radius. How could this possibly be as problematic as people make it out to be?

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